Once the settlement was accepted between the tenant association and Kelsey Garden owners, ONE DC anticipated that residents would begin receiving vouchers and moving out. To date, most of them (tenant association members) have moved to Capitol Park Plaza in SW. Most of the residents remaining were never members of the tenant association so moving TA members off the property seems to have been a priority with Metropolitan & Deliverance Church although some TA members are refusing to move until they absolutely have to. ONE DC is not aware of any projected construction date and to the best of their knowledge, the zoning process has not started. The developer has not finalized an agreement with the tenant association.So it *seems* that Kelsey Gardens is slowly emptying out but that there is no definite date by which all tenants must vacate. Does anyone have any further insight into deadlines, future plans, or interim plans?
My 2 cents: Kelsey Gardens continues to be a haven for crime, and will likely become increasingly such as tenants move out. I think as soon as the place can be leveled, even if the land sits empty in the interim, the better. Kelsey Gardens stifles progress on the 1500 block of 7th Street. I bet viable plans for the redevelopment of Kelsey Gardens will materialize soon after the dirt starts to fly on the O Street Market redevelopment, which is a catalyst project for the entire area.
All that said, the loss of Kelsey Gardens constitutes the loss of affordable housing--albeit dangerous, socially unhealthy affordable housing--in Shaw. As Shaw's renewal continues, we have the responsibility of making sure affordable housing opportunities persist (I strongly believe that the best communities are mixed income communities). Fortunately several notable new developments promise to bring affordable housing opportunities in the future: Broadcast Center One will bring about 50 below market units, Self-Help’s Flats at Blagden Alley project will bring about 53 workforce units (the plans for which are beautiful, btw), and the O Street Market redevelopment will bring 100 units of affordable senior housing.